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Thursday, April 19, 2007


KOTA KINABALU: Sabah took another giant step towards their promotion bid as they moved within seven points of the leaders UPB-MyTEAM with a game in hand following their 2-1 victory over the latter at the Shah Alam Stadium on Tuesday.

Prince Ativie Guy was the hero of the night for the Rhinos after netting a last gasp winner. Earlier on, nippy midfielder Radzi Hussin thrust the Rhinos in the lead in the 23rd minute with a superbly taken free-kick from about 40 metres before Marin Mikac equalised for UPB-MyTEAM, when he struck the equaliser in the 63rd minute.

The victory, which was their second over the leaders and fourth of the season, saw Sabah sharing 17 points with Selangor PKNS and also saw both teams sharing the fourth spot as both have scored and conceded the same number of goals.

MyTeam still lead the standings on 24 points, two points ahead of second placed Royal Malaysian Police Force (PDRM) with 22 points but has the advantage of having played two games less.

Kuala Lumpur, Sabah’s next opponent in the league, is in fourth on 18 points.

“I am satisfied with our overall performances. I thought we were clearly the better side throughout the game. It was unfortunate that we did not end the match with a bigger score line,” said Rahman Zakaria.

“We dominated the game without giving them much space. In fact we created enough chances to win the game comfortably, but poor finishing denied us. However, as the old saying goes ‘its better late than never’,” the Rhinos team manager added.

“I think Prince (Ativie) squandered at least five or six chances, but in the end I am delighted to see that he finally made amends.

“It’s not only good for the team, but also for him, because we certainly want to see him score more goals for the team.

“As for Obi (Charles), like the rest of the players, he too played well, and I think he had one scoring opportunity earlier in the game, but he fluffed his chance.

“Having said all this, I am not at all concerned with the missed chances, because I firmly believe that this team will keep on scoring be it from Obi, Prince, or other players.

“For them, it is not important who finds the net, as they all know what is far more important is that the team wins in the end,” said Rahman.

On another positive note, Rahman said that it is nice to see that several youngsters have started to blend well with the senior players.

“I think we have a well balanced side here. The seniors and the young players are playing together really well. For the record, in the UPB-MyTEAM match, we had six under-21 players in the team.

“Four of them, Radzi, goalkeeper Irwan (Jamil), Zulamri Muhammad and P. Rajes, all started the game while Hardy Charles and Azrul Ejati Damsah also tasted action in the second half.

“This is good for the team in the long run, and the coach (Drago Mamic) has done a good job in grooming these players.

At the same time, Rahman also thanked the 200-odd fans that turned up for the UPB-MyTEAM game.

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